For ETS Operators who are currently on layoff, there is an opportunity to return to work in a redeployed position temporarily. If you’re interested, you need to complete the form at this link and forward it by 1600h (4:00pm) tomorrow, Tuesday June 23.
Requests for redeployment will be ordered by seniority and the available work distributed in that order. Currently, there are fewer volunteers than there are positions to be filled, so get your request in as soon as possible.
Work is proceeding to get the budget in place to ramp up Transit service. As expected, there was a drop in ridership last week following the re-introduction of fares. It is slowly creeping back up and we are very concerned that it will again reach a stage where crowding occurs. If you feel there are too many passengers on board, stop your bus and call Control. Respectfully tell them that boarding more patrons would be unsafe as there is not enough room for distancing.
More riders means we need more buses on the road and more members driving them. Redeployed members are the most senior and they will be recalled first. With more service on the road, there will be more buses to clean and the drivers redeployed to cleaning will be out driving buses. And that’s a problem. Council has implemented a hiring freeze so there’s no way to bring in more cleaners except through a contractor. They are expecting to bring in Bee-Kleen workers to help clean buses and LRVs.
We have messaged all of city Council about this problem. If they act NOW, they can get a posting out, screen & interview candidates, get them in and trained and geared-up, ready to go. But they need to act now. EITHER WAY, THEY WILL HAVE TO SPEND MONEY TO GET THE CLEANING DONE.
We’ve heard back from 4 out of the 13 members of Council: Mike Nickel and Mo Banga expressed clear understanding of the issue and support for our concerns. Jon Dziadyk and Andrew Knack also responded but without any real commitment. One other Councilor had his Executive Assistant contact us to say the Councilor had seen our email. I am now working on a media release describing the problem.
A note for Operators at Andrews Division, PLEASE park your bus safely. The lines are painted wrong and they seem to push Operators to park too close together and there are contacts occurring. Leave enough room to get between for your pre-trip inspection. Do the safe thing!